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Affirming Common Roots

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INT-244 World Religions

Professor Kyle Smith

Affirming Common Roots

Thomas Merton appears to be making a statement concerning if mankind is only concerned with them on an individual basis then he or she is basically attempting to become self-sufficient. However, upon further reading it seems to make a statement "if" rejects others to do what is best for them then are may be a sin. It is God's desire for all mankind to treat his or her fellow person as He would treat them with love and respect. Jesus has taught everyone in the Bible it is wrong to do wrong to others and if anyone does wrong to their fellow person then they are also doing wrong unto Him. Thomas Merton speaks about living life individually but, this way of living will quickly dissolve into nothing. And living life without Christ in it would be worthless and everyone should help to steer one another towards Christ.

Thomas Merton wants everyone to become more aware of Christ and the sacrifice he has made for mankind. The main idea he is trying to get across to all those who follow Christ or their Higher Power is simply this no matter what your preference is as far as religion is concerned all should learn how to respect one another and get along. Mr. Merton shows some interesting signs there could also be some things alike between many religions. Plainly stated no one individual should disrespect another because of his or her belief, work, culture or anything else for all should have "Christ" as the way to being common ground so to speak.

On this particular statement "If I affirm myself as a Catholic merely by denying all that is Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist, etc., in the end I will find there is not much left for me to affirm as a Catholic, and certainly no breath of the Spirit with which to affirm it (Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Merton)." Thomas Merton appears to be stating rather than focus on other people's problems/convictions attempt to love those who are different and see what you both may have in common.

Personally as a Christian my attitude would allow me to think about my fellowman before I think of myself. Thus also teaching me how to speak in a Godly manner towards all individuals even those who have different worldviews/religious beliefs. It is not for me nor is anyone else to judge another for this the work of God. I shall embrace others more while continuing to pray as well for this is the Christian thing to do.

In conclusion Thomas Merton basically is writing about his life and the experiences he has gone through. He also wants his readers to see how he saw the world around him as well as how all of mankind should view the world in which one lives. Treat all with the utmost respect for it is pleasing unto the Lord. Break



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